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July 24, 2009

Summer Q&A: Rodney Hudson talks Trickett, OL

Transcript of Rodney Hudson's 7/24 interview with the media:

Talk about how the offseason is going for you.

Hudson: Offseason is going real good. We are working real hard as a team, not only just a few segments. This summer is going real good and everybody is working real hard.

The receivers and quarterbacks have 7-on-7's, but do the lineman have anything similar to do?

Hudson: We do extra stuff every day, not just on certain days. We do something called auxiliaries where we work on the little muscles, back, neck. We do stuff every day.

What kind of influence does coach Rick Trickett have on you guys during the summer?

Hudson: He has a big influence because whether he is there or not, we know we have to work hard. We know what he expects so we have to do that so we will be ready for camp and stuff.

Do you guys have exit interviews with him?

Hudson: There are certain things that he will say that he wants us to get bigger here or stronger there. As a person, he will focus on that one thing.

What is the one thing for you?

Hudson: Strength overall. Leg strength, getting stronger as a whole. I think that is the goal for the whole offensive line, not just me. We want to get stronger.

How much stronger have you gotten?

Hudson: l wouldn't put an exact number on it, but I feel a lot stronger as far as power cleans go. My technique got a lot better and that is important because I feel if you do your technique right your weight will go up. I've been focusing on that more than anything, getting my technique right.

Was there an element to the offensive line that was missing last year that Trickett talked to you guys about?

Hudson: He hasn't changed since he has gotten here. He coaches strength, toughness, you know, he stresses those things a lot. He hasn't really changed any.

How do you guys handle it when players leave and say Trickett is too hard on me?

Hudson: I really don't buy into that too much. It might be hard for them, but if it's what you want to do - he is doing it all for the better. He brings the best out of us. I don't know if it was too tough for them or what not.

What was your first impression of Trickett when you saw him in action for the first time?

Hudson: That's how I kind of figured it was. That is how he was during recruiting. I expected it, it wasn't a big deal to me. If you want to get better, you need to listen to what he says, not how he says it. He's a great coach.

Does that bring you lineman as a group together?

Hudson: Yeah I think it does. We lean on each other, when times are bad for one person and good for everyone else, we try to pick them up.

Since you followed him as a previous commitment to West Virginia, there must be something that you like about coach Trickett.

Hudson: He was always honest with me. That was the biggest thing. He was always honest with me.

How so?

Hudson: Like we were saying about the fussing, like all the other recruiters who come off nice. I know they weren't really like that. He was always the same way. He never really changed anything.

There are only certain types of players that can handle that then right?

Hudson: It depends what you want. He's tough on us, but like I said he is a great coach and everybody knows so you just have to listen to what he says and you will be alright.

What about you has allowed you to connect with him?

Hudson: Just playing hard. That is one thing he likes. You can't take plays off. You have to play hard. I try to do that myself. I just concentrate on every single play and playing to the best of my abilities.

Is it one of the best things about him that coach is at least consistent?

Hudson: Yeah. You know what to expect. That makes you feel really good as a player. You know what to expect and you know it isn't going to change.

Does he have any type of relationship with you guys off the field?

Hudson: He talks to us about grades and stuff. People will overlook that because of how much he fusses, but he is real big on getting your education and graduating and stuff. He is real big on that.

Does he check up on you then?

Hudson: Yeah, weekly checkups. We have academics here and we meet with them weekly during the season, and he will bring in papers and ask us what is going on here and what is going on there. What do you need to do to get better and how can I help you.

What did you think about coach Trickett when you saw him on his Harley Motorcycle for the first time?

Hudson: I just laughed a little bit.

Is it something to take pride in that everyone recognizes the offensive line as the hardest workers on the team?

Hudson: It gives us a lot of pride. The big thing for us is that we are hoping it rubs off on all the guys, and we have had some other guys from other positions come work with us and stuff. It's more for the team, when they see us and they are like I want to do a little bit of that. Slowly but surely, a lot of guys come to work with us too.

How do you react to being ranked so low as a unit coming into last year and now as one of the top groups in the country?

Hudson: We don't really look at the numbers, but at a certain point, we do try to be the best. We don't look at the numbers or the stats, but we do work hard to be the best. That is something we want to do.

Along those lines, when you guys do perform well, does he let you know?

Hudson: He tells us when we do good. More when we do bad because most of the times we do bad it is the little things. The most important thing about football is the little things you do. He tells us when we do good occasionally.

Are you guys happy with how far you have come in terms of national perception?

Hudson: We take a lot of pride in it. That's why we stay after and work hard, it's something we take pride in.

As a line, what was your biggest thing you had to work on?

Hudson: Strength. Like I said earlier, we need to get stronger and control people a lot more.

Anything else?

Hudson: Missed assignments. There were times that the play would have changed dramatically, but strength was a big factor and we can work on that all summer.

Because you are returning everyone up front, is there a different mindset this year?

Hudson: I think we are a lot more mature mentally. We know what to expect going into camp. Last year we had a lot of freshmen going into camp and they really didn't know what was going to happen, but I think we are a lot more mature mentally.

Who has stuck out to you this offseason?

Hudson: Andrew Datko. He is doing real good. He is a lot stronger from last year and he gained a lot of weight too.

How about the new freshmen that just arrived?

Hudson: They are doing real good.

Datko has really come a long way since he first arrived hasn't he?

Hudson: He has changed a lot. He gained a lot of weight and got a lot stronger. He should be in place for a great season next year.

Can you tell when a new guy comes in if he will be able to handle Trickett?

Hudson: You can, but then again, something might happen or change. But most of the guys that come in, you can tell, yeah Trickett definitely recruited him.

When Aubrey Phillips left the team, how did you guys react to the negative things he said?

Hudson: I didn't see it. I heard about it. He said some bad things, but I really don't know what he said at all.

Have you reached or exceeded your own expectations of yourself at this time?

Hudson: I probably reached them, but at the same time I probably could have done a lot better. I think there is still a lot of room for improvement from me personally.

It's been a long time since FSU has had a 1,000 yard rusher. Is that a goal for this year?

Hudson: We would take a lot of pride in that. That would show a lot for our work ethic and what we have been doing or what not. It would be real nice to have a 1,000 yard rusher.

Have you worked at any other positions lately? Trickett has said you would make a great center.

Hudson: I have been working at it. It's a different position because the center makes a lot of calls, and then you have to worry about snapping before you can go. Where I play now at guard, you can just go when the ball is snapped. It's a very different position, but very doable.

Would you like to play there someday, maybe not at FSU.

Hudson: I would do it yeah. Why not?

Have you given any thought about jumping to the NFL if you have the type of year people are expecting from you?

Hudson: I doubt that I would be leaving early. I love it here. I want to be here.

Is that because of the potential you see in this program?

Hudson: Yeah. We have a bright future. Me and Datko talk about that all the time that we might be together for two or three more years. That gets us comfortable playing next to one another. Last year we just went through camp together. This year we get a camp, a spring, and a summer. Last year, they were just working their way in. Now we have been together for a lot longer and have gone through the workouts and stuff. We know each other a lot more.

Who is the meanest, toughest guy on the line?

Hudson: We have a couple. I would probably say David Spurlock. His attitude, the way he approaches the game.

Ryan McMahon played last season through a lot of injuries. Talk about him a little.

Hudson: He is tough. Real tough. He had a lot of injuries and he gutted through all of them. He kept playing through them. He is up there with me and Spurlock too. He is working out and running and everything. He gets a lot more respect having going through that.

Transcribed by Corey Dowlar


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